The ones available in February include Fortune, Laroda, Amber Jewel and Tegan Blue. All are generally sweet and juicy, and can be either soft or firm; Ausibelle are sweet but slightly acidic, firm plums; Angeleno, Moyer and D’agen are extremely sweet and firm, with a crispy or crunchy texture.
Choose plums that are plump and full-coloured with smooth skin. Avoid soft spots or bruising.
To ripen, keep at room temperature. Once ripe, refrigerate for up to five days.
Plums can be eaten raw or cooked, but be sure to remove stones before eating.
4 quick ways with plums
Cool off with a tasty dessert. Place chopped sponge finger biscuits in a parfait glass and top with natural yoghurt. Add chopped plums, chopped strawberries and cubed mangoes. Repeat the layers until the glass is full.
Make your own plum sauce. Skin, stone and chop half a kilo of plums and combine them in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, a minced clove of garlic, a little grated ginger and a dash of hot sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10–15 minutes, until the fruit is tender. Purée mixture, then cool to use in stir-fries or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls and dim sum.
Have a simple salad of sliced, stoned plums, spinach leaves and toasted walnuts. Dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a splash of orange juice.
For a yummy summer dessert, warm 1/2 cup honey over low heat, then add about 10 stoned and quarted plums, cut side down. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn and cook for another few minutes. Serve with low-fat vanilla ice-cream.
Did you know? Prunes are dried plums, and have four times more fibre because removing the water concentrates the nutrients.